Rosetta Stone Spanish Review
Rosetta Stone is all about the immersion concept. The course doesn’t contain any native language words, in order to completely immerse you in the new language, so that you learn the language like you did when you were a baby.
This sounds great as a concept! Babies seem to learn a language so fast and effortlessly, so immersion seems to be the way to go!
Right? Unfortunately not…
The Problem with Rosetta Stone
The problem is that Rosetta Stone doesn’t work!
OK, that may be a bit harsh! You can still learn a language using Rosetta Stone, but it just won’t be an effective use of your time! It is not the optimal way to learn a language.
There is a forum online for polyglots, and in one of the forum posts, hundreds of polyglots rated the courses their favorite course for learning a language. The result? Very few, if any at all, picked Rosetta Stone as the most useful course.
What about the immersion though?
So immersion does work for learning a language. If you move to a new country and you surround yourself with locals for the majority of the day, you will be fluent in the language in 1 year!
However, Rosetta Stone does not provide full immersion. You will probably be “immersed” in the language for 30 minutes per day, which is simply not enough for this immersion concept to work well.
And yes, there are other methods which are more effective and a better use of your time, which will help you learn the language much faster!
But why is Rosetta Stone so popular?
Rosetta Stone is incredibly well marketed! Their marketing is amazing, but their product is not very effective! It can be fun, but you won’t learn a language quickly using this method!
While I am not a fan of Rosetta Stone, it does have some good things going for it. So here is a pros and cons list:
Pros of Rosetta Stone
1. You get live tutoring
This one is really good! The tutoring in a classroom environment, with a couple of students in each class. You have to book the class ahead of time. As far as I know, you get 12 live tutoring classes, which is great and very few courses provide!
2. Good software
It does appear quite obvious that they spent a lot of money developing this program! They took the concept of immersion, and developed a good software based on that idea. They also marketed the program very well.
Cons of Rosetta Stone
1. It doesn’t actually work
It’s a shame but I don’t think this program actually works! I have never met a person who is a fluent in a language by using Rosetta Stone. I did meet many other people who learned languages to fluency through other programs.
My top recommendations are: if you want to learn using audio courses then go with Rocket Languages. If you want to learn by sitting on a computer, as you would with Rosetta Stone, then go with Babbel.
2. It’s very expensive!
The course is very expensive! They charge a lot because they invested a lot in the development and marketing of the course. However, as an individual wanting to learn a language, you shouldn’t be spending hundreds of $$$ for it.
I know a guy who spent over $500 on Rosetta Stone, and made very little progress in the new language. Part of it is because he lost his initial enthusiasm for the language, but still, the initial investment required for Rosetta is too much, in my opinion!
You can start for much cheaper with Babbel, who charge just $12.95 for 1 month’s access.
3. There is no instruction
Because of their concept of having absolutely no English in their course, this means that you get no explanations of the grammar at all. I found that quite annoying, as it can be frustrating trying to figure out yourself what are the rules of grammar and verb conjugations.
Who is Rosetta Stone best for?
Rosetta Stone is actually pretty good for vocabulary building. If you understand the grammar of the language, perhaps know the language well from school, but now want to refresh your memory, then maybe Rosetta Stone would be good for you!
That is if you don’t mind their high price tag.
What would you recommend instead?
As I mentioned earlier, if you want an audio course to listen to while doing other things, I recommend Rocket Spanish.